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Moneyless: essence and simplicity of form

An international artist creates one of the largest murals in the world in Agliana

For the 2016 Street Art Agliana project, Teo Moneyless Pirisi created two very significant mural works, for both the Italian graffitist’s artistic development and the evolution of this project to promote urban and cultural redevelopment sponsored by the City of Agliana’s Office of the Cultural Councilor.

Moneyless’s first intervention was executed in just five days on the right side of the building housing Agliana’s municipal warehouse. Covering 360 square meters, this monumental work today represents the largest public work by Moneyless as well as one of the largest murals in the world. The artist is well-known in the international Street Art scene for his geometric abstraction and the dynamism of the forms he creates. “In recent years, I have embarked on an artistic exploration of geometric shapes,” says Moneyless, “which has led me to experiment with such different languages as drawing, painting, sculpture, murals, and installations.” The mural on the municipal warehouse documents Moneyless’s great workmanship and versatility. The artist continues, “The Agliana work had a significant effect on my most recent stylistic choices vis-à-vis the figure of a broken circle, referring specifically to the Fragmentations series of paintings.”

It is most like for this reason that the color composition and the balancing of forms do not seem influenced by the large surface area intended specifically as a canvas on which to paint. The artist first carried out the preparatory drawing using nocturnal projections, through which it was possible to define the outlines of each individual form. Moneyless completely redesigned the building’s aspect, transforming a structure completely removed from art commonly identified as a simply a work area. At first glance, the façade’s original features – lights, pipes, sensors – do not stand out. Even the large entrance under the canopy is hidden behind the black and white colors.

The mural is already completely integrated into this urban context and seems almost like the natural scenery of the park next to the warehouse, used daily by Agliana’s inhabitants during their free time. There were many people who assisted in producing the work, including secondary school students involved in courses focusing on the languages of Street Art and the difference between art and vandalism.

The second work by Moneyless, in fact, was carried out in the garden of the Angeli Custodi, a private school located in the San Michele district. In this case, the artist used closed geometric shapes as the work’s background, drawn by the school’s pupils as part of their course work. Over two days, the artist involved teachers and children in applying the basic colors, thus creating a fully collective work. The mural develops an impressive dynamism and three-dimensionality with the white lines introduced by Moneyless, a trait that strongly characterizes his artistic exploration.

“To create these broken circles, I used a compass I made myself and that goes everywhere with me. I always have a tip with me that I found in an abandoned factory in Scotland and then adapted for my needs,” continues Moneyless. “In Russia I found a small circular “brush” that’s perfect to create the line I’m looking for.” This artistic practice has created unexpected relationships between Agliana, Russia, and Scotland, the same relationships that the Street Art works create between the urban environment and passersby.


Teo Pirisi aka Moneyless lives and works in Lucca. Known internationally for having raised the profile of geometric abstraction in the panorama of Street Art, he has worked all over the world. In the days he spent in Agliana, he personally discussed the story of his life. “In my artistic career, I have always favored an exploration that could evolve, from installations to drawing, from paintings on canvas to murals. I paid particular attention to Bruno Munari’s experiences”. His relationship with natural and artificial landscapes is also noteworthy. “The installations that have made me known worldwide were hallmarked by being totally immersed in nature, while my murals appear in urban environments. The connection between these works of mine is represented by the geometric line and color combinations, and by my ongoing experimentation in creating geometric compositions.”


Emanuel Carfora


Archivio Cooperativa Keras

Sponsored by:



luglio, 2024

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